field study site - Liwonde National Park

CRM is also working in Liwonde National Park (LNP), south of Lake Malawi. Liwonde is bordered to the west by the Shire River. The Shire is Malawi's largest river, over 1km wide in places and is the only outlet for Lake Malawi.

The landscape of Liwonde is highly diverse with dry Mopani woodlands covering the eastern half of the park interspersed with Candelabra trees. Areas of Miombo woodland can be found on a few hill slopes in the south and east, while Palm Savannah and Baobabs are found on the extensive floodplains of the river, which have a more tropical feel due to the dense vegetation along the river banks

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Liwonde supports the largest remaining population of elephants in the country as well as one of two populations of black rhino, most within a 4000ha fenced-in sanctuary in the park.

Other mammal species include: hippo, crocodiles, buffalo, aardvark, warthog, several antelope species and more than over 400 of the country's 650 bird species. Whilst hyaenas are currently the only big predators in the park, lions were once commonplace and the healthy populations of other large mammals will allow for the quick reintroduction of other predators.

Such diversity means that Liwonde has some of the most scenic game viewing in Malawi and reputedly the best bird watching in Southern Africa.

As of September 2015, African Parks concluded an agreement with the Government of Malawi to manage and operate Liwonde, alongside Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, for 20 years.

Liwonde is bursting with wildlife which flourishes on the rich diversity of habitats from floodplains and palm savannah to miombo and mopane woodlands. liwonde wide

Liwonde harbours a variety of wildlife including elephant, reedbuck, waterbuck and sable, hyaena, hippo, buffalo and zebra.

Regular visitors to camp include elephants, warthogs, baboons and vervet monkeys.

liwondeWe are working in Liwonde to assess carnivore density and distribution, with a focus on spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta). We conducted a conservation translocation of a clan of four spotted hyaena into the park in April 2015, and are conducting research on this introduced clan and on the resident clan of eleven hyaenas, using satellite and VHF collars to determine spatial behaviour, clan interactions, behavioural ecology and survival rates.

Find out more about the project on the Liwonde Hyaena Project page or download the current project report here.

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